When it comes to sleep eight hours is said to be the magic number. If you find yourself struggling to sleep and constantly cranky, our Nutritionist Rick Hay explains exactly what to eat for better sleep
Nearly half of women (43 per cent) in the UK say they are not getting enough sleep and 33 per cent say that they wake up during the night, according to a survey of 4,100 UK adults, conducted by YouGov and supported by the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association (SATA). If you find yourself tossing and turning for hours and waking up in the morning feeling sluggish and unrested; the good news is you’re not alone. The even better news is that we can help.
If you want to sleep better you have to start by looking at what you are eating in the daytime, there’s no point having something that will encourage you to sleep at night if you have had a very stressful day with really poor nutrition. In the video below Nutritionist Rick Hay, explains what types of foods can help prevent stress and what should be avoided. Some supplements are also recommended.
So, what should you eat ?
- Nuts & Seeds – They are high in magnesium and will keep your nervous system steady and satisfied.
- Oily fish – They help with brain function and help with calming anxiety.
- Tea – Drinking tea produces theanine, a relaxing and non-dietary amino acid known to promote relaxation without sedation (Not too much because you don’t want to overload on caffeine).
- Dark leafy greens – For example try adding vegetables like spinach, chard & lettuce into your diet as they are rich in magnesium which will help you sleep better.
What to avoid?
If you want to sleep better, the first thing to do is get rid of all those sugary, highly caffeinated foods and replace with foods that are as close to nature as you can get – colourful and bright. Here are things to watch and avoid:
- High Sugar – They give you a spike of energy and the come down can be quite hard.
- Highly processed – These tend to be very high in sugar which won’t aid your sleep.
- Large amounts of alcohol – One glass of red wine with dinner is fine but you don’t want to be knocked out from alcohol.
- Highly caffeinated beverages – Try decaffeinated drinks as an alternative and only have two caffeinated drinks a day.
- St John’s wort
- Lemon Balm
- Vitamin B